“Woman Delivers Own Baby in Turkish Hotel Using Youtube, Shoestrings and a Pocket Knife”. A shocking headline, isn’t it?
It turns out that Tia Freeman, a 22-year-old woman from Nashville didn’t know about her pregnancy until the last trimester. Since she has already booked a two-week vacation with friends in Stuttgart, she refused to change her plans. Clearly traveling with a newborn safety issue didn’t even cross her mind.
Tia Freeman gave birth to a baby during the layover time in Istanbul and was planning to carry on with her journey until the Turkish officials stopped her at the Customs. She was then assigned to a local hospital to make sure that she and baby Xavier were fine. Local authorities advised her to wait at least two weeks to proceed with traveling.
The story is both amazing and shocking. But there you have the simplest answer to “how soon can you travel with a newborn?” question.
Lets’ look at what smart moms should do to have a safe and enjoyable trip.
What to Pack Before Traveling With a Newborn?
- A blanket (to keep the baby warm).
- A baby sling (if planning to move often).
- A portable car seat (whether you’re traveling with a newborn by car, train, or plane).
- A lightweight collapsible stroller (to move the baby around easily).
- Feeding supplies.
- Clothes and diapers.
- Bad and bath supplies.
- A first-aid-kit (paracetamol, colic treatment, saline nose drops, and teething gel are must-have).
Pack everything you’ll need being away from home, but keep in mind to pack lightly. You can always pick-up extras at the destination point. Here are some of my tips for traveling with kids.
Flying With a Newborn
Various airlines have their own policies towards when can you travel with a newborn issue. JetBlue requires a doctor’s permit for infants less than 14 days but will accept 3-days-old on board. American Airlines accepts 2-days-old newborns and requires a doctor’s letter for less-than-7-days infants.
- Have an infant bassinet for a long flight to ensure the baby’s safety. While waiting for when is it safe to travel with a newborn, take care of the infant. Infant bassinet is basket attached to the wall in the bulkhead seats. After takeoff, you can lay the baby flat, sit back and stretch your legs.
- Avoid feeding the baby during the flight to prevent earaches.
- Figure out the best flight time for the baby. Early morning, for instance, is a good time to plan a flight with a baby. The baby will still be sleepy and will probably sleep through the flight. This way you’ll avoid having headaches of your own as well.
- Have something to distract the baby
To avoid the baby annoying other passengers, e.g. kicking seats, have a book or a toy for a baby to be occupied.
Baby On Board
Safety is inevitably a number-one issue when traveling with a baby. Consider the following rules to ensure a safe car trip for your baby.
- Protect the baby from the sun. Use removable window shades that you can attach to the car.
- Always fasten the seat-belt properly. When inquiring “When can you travel with a newborn by car?”, make sure you install the car seat correctly (it must be on a rear-facing car seat and never opposite the air-bag).
- Feed the baby appropriately. If you are currently breastfeeding, you’re practically good to go. If you’re using formula, purchase travel sterilizers and pre-sterilized bottle early on.
- Consider the right timing. If your child sleeps well in the car seat, consider planning the road-trip for the night. Put the baby in his jammies, put him in the infant carrier and drive through the evening.
- Take frequent pit stops. The change of scenery will help the baby’s attitude greatly.
- Dress the baby accordingly. Every time you make a pit-stop, check and change the diaper. For this, make sure the baby is dressed lightly and easy-to-change.
- Ensure happy thoughts in the car. Take the baby’s favorite lovey (or a crib sheet) with you from home. The smell of home will help the baby sleep better on the road. Have one adult travel with the baby in the backseat. This way the baby will be entertained and taken care of at all times.
How Can You Travel With a Newborn by Train?
Taking a train with a newborn is pretty much the same as traveling by car. Of course, you need to consult the railroad complex authorities for when is it safe to travel with a newborn baby by their rules.
While you can save on a ticket when traveling with a newborn, some parents do reserve a seat for their babies and put a car seat there.
- Find out the temperature on board to dress the baby accordingly.
- Arrive at the station early to reduce unwanted stress.
- Talk to the train staff if you need to have some of the baby’s food refrigerated.
- Be ready to calm the baby down by holding him and walking down the aisles.
Play a road trip bingo. Plenty of things can go wrong on a road trip. Only a sudden change of weather can cause a lot of distress for you and the baby. To stay on the positive side and not flip out over possible road mishaps, arrange a Bingo game with all the things that can go wrong during the trip: a flat tire, a forgotten comforter, baby having hiccups. Have a Bingo card to match the victories as well: finished the whole audio-book or drove 10 miles without the baby screaming.
Learn baby massage technique. Sitting in a car seat for hours is surely exhausting for anybody. While you can walk the tiredness off, the baby needs better care. Learn some massaging techniques while preparing for the trip. Simply massaging the baby’s legs and feet will help calm him down.
Getaways with little kids can be really enjoyable if organized properly.
The question ‘How soon can you travel with a newborn by car?’ isn’t entirely a matter of time. It’s a matter of mother’s and baby’s convenience. By all means, consult a pediatrician to gather info on how soon can you travel with a newborn by car. Have all the supplies ready for the trip? Set off on a trip on the baby’s third day of life, but keep the baby as safe as possible.